This is the two-page complaint that attorney Jean L. King and her friend Mary N. Yourd sent to U.S. Labor Secretary George P. Shultz, charging the University of Michigan with sex discrimination. The complaint was filed on behalf of a group called FOCUS on Equal Employmentfor Women, which included a few faculty members and students. But King, a Democrat, and Yourd, a Republican who was the wife of a law school administrator, volunteered to serve as the group's public faces.
The letter briefly outlined statistics that they said demonstrated that the University discriminated against women in both admissions and employment. They asked Shultz to direct the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance to investigate, and said that they would provide an investigator with the names of persons willing to testify in support of the complaint.
FOCUS on Equal
Employment for Women
on equal employment for women
3134 Sunnywood Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
May 27, 1970
Mr. George P. Shultz
Secretary of Labor
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Please consider this letter as a formal complaint under Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Order 11375.
Ann Arbor FOCUS on Equal Employment for Women hereby requests that you instruct the Office of Federal Contract Compliance to insist that all Federal agencies doing business with the University of Michigan enforce these orders. We ask that, as stated in the orders, the University of Michigan end discrimination against women and take affirmative action "to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to . . . sex."
Each year millions of dollars in Federal contracts are disbursed to the University of Michigan, and each year this same university discriminates against women in a variety of ways. It discriminates by having quotas for women in admission to the University itself. For the last decade, the admissions office has manipulated requirements to insure that an "overbalance"--that is, a majority--of women would not occur in the freshman class. Women have comprised about 45% of the entering class for a number of years, despite the fact that in terms of grades and test scores, there are more qualified female applicants than males. We consider admission to undergraduate and graduate programs analogous to the apprenticeship programs of industry. Without open admissions with regard to sex, there can be no fair treatment of women in the professions.
Discrimination against women in employment at the University of Michigan is even more pronounced than unequal educational opportunity would suggest. In the last decade women comprised over 11% of the Ph.D.'s produced in the United States. Since a larger proportion of women with doctorates go into teaching than men, women actually make up more than 13% of the pool of Ph.D.'s available to universities. The University of Michigan's academic staff
[p. 2]does not reflect this fact. Considering all the academic staff of professorial rank, only 6.6% are women. The student with a randomly selected program of classes can expect to have a woman teacher in only 2 of the 40 courses needed to graduate. This fact is especially important with regard to women students, for in order to find her own style and identity in the academic world a woman student needs a variety of women models.
Even the figure of 6.6% does not give a true picture of the entire University. Nursing, for example, is traditionally a female profession. Forty of the University's 182 women faculty members of professorial rank are in the School of Nursing. When the faculty of the School of Nursing is omitted from the calculations, women comprise only 5.3% of the University's professorial staff.
In the huge College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which has about 900 faculty members of professorial rank, there are 34 women professors. Out of about 100 professors in the School of Education, 6 are women. In social work out of 58 professors, 12 are women. In library science, out of 14 professors, 3 are women.
We also request that you investigate reports that highly educated women are employed by the University in clerical positions but expected to do administrative and supervisory work for clerical pay.
Discrimination against hiring women in academic positions must end. Criteria for upgrading should be irrespective of sex. We ask that the OFCC act immediately in these areas to end discrimination against women in the University of Michigan. The investigator should contact us for the names of persons who will testify in support of this complaint.
Jean L. King
3134 Sunnywood Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan NO 2-4819
Mary N. Yourd
Ann Arbor, Michigan, No 2-9691
cc: Robert Finch, Secretary, HEW